And now for something utterly spurious (that’s fancy talk for ‘just silly’). I have decided to add some of my more random musings into my blog on a sporadic, yet regular basis. The topics will vary greatly, but they unify around this single ideal—if enacted, these proposed changes would make for a better world. Lets start with something small.
I believe that we need to codify and standardize farewells. In polite society, conversations begin with a greeting and end with a farewell. This is quite necessary and should not be tampered with. However, I am growing increasingly distressed by the ambiguity surrounding farewells.
I see two problems. Firstly, there are so many synonyms for goodbye that as a conversation draws to a close I suffer a spasm of anxiety, which one do I use? Should I go with the predictable ‘bye’, the continental ‘ciao’, or the manly ‘hasta la vista’? ‘So long’ sounds pessimistic and ‘bon voyage’ is just precocious. This is just too much.
And since we are speaking about volume, I turn to my second and more forceful complaint. What is the deal with all this bundling? It’s not enough anymore that I choose a farewell, but I must now string a selection of these synonyms together. “Right, I’ll see you later…stay well…(a little more small talk)…I gotta go…(promises to do lunch sometime)…cheers…okay, bye.” I don’t know when the conversation is over! And when I do finally stop layering my goodbyes, I wonder if my bundling was sufficient. The stress is killing me.
I don’t want to be abrupt, but I do want the freedom to stop talking once the conversation is finished. In a better world we would have our say, enjoy meaningful conversation and then say goodbye. Simple, clean, and easy.
OK, now I am done. I send you off with best wishes and goodwill. I’ll speak with you again tomorrow—cheerio, adieu, bye-bye…